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tv   [untitled]    February 10, 2012 10:18am-10:48am PST

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is something that impacts not just cca, but everything that happens on the puc. we should be on the record in support of good government. >> absolutely, that will be included on the list. supervisor campos: colleagues, commissioners, any questions about item number five? ms. miller? >> you know, i just had one more thought peter i am sorry. normally we try to schedule joint meetings with the sfpuc during the year. and it has always been -- as i have learned over the years, it is much better to start that process earlier than later. i know we talked about the calendar, and now we're talking about cca. but if there is a need to meet in the spring or early summer, we should perhaps start that request now so that we can get a date with everyone's calendar so that we have at least the day.
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if we do not want it, we do not need to use it. perhaps it might make sense for you to direct us to date for the meeting. supervisor campos: i think this is connected directly to cca and that he would be helpful for staff to get a sense from this commission on what dates might work in terms of a joint meeting and maybe take a couple of days to survey the members of the commission or maybe today to find those states and submit something to the commission. >> that is great. if you could just give us that direction, that would be fabulous. commissioner campos: unless there is objection, i think that direction is given. why don't we open up to public comment? any member of the public who would like to speak on item 5, if you could please come forward. i know that a number of these items, that the issue of cca
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will be coming at some point before the board. >> once again, eric brooks, san francisco green party and our city. just to quickly touch on the things you have touched on -- one, in reverse order, i think we do need a joint meeting in early spring, actually, because some action will come to the puc in spring. i would totally agree that we need to support the five-year concept on the revolving door issue. as a personal consumer, if you go down in my basement and look at the meter, you can see that the only one that is not a smart meters is mine, and i'm about to, because of the cpuc, get charge hundreds of dollars a year, and it cannot possibly cost pg&e that much money. we definitely need a better representation and better
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controls over the revolving door. on community choice itself, i would just reiterate what we have said to a lot of you behind the scenes, and advocates have done a lot of homework over the last couple of weeks. we are getting an idea of where the sweet spots are on timing. it has been eight years since the first ordinance was passed, and we want to get this done as soon as we can. however, it is how little time, really. we need to make sure -- it is huddle time. we need to make sure we're taking enough time said that the build out meshes well. i would put at the caution -- let's not move too fast. we need to make sure we get this under way before the budget season takes us away to other concerns, but let's give ourselves plenty of time. something else -- i will speak more on items not on the agenda,
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but i want to touch on it here because it relates to cca. the internet is becoming a big deal. you have heard me get up and talk about the internet before and city-wide broadband. that now is dovetailing with cca in that the conversations we have had with local power and others indicate that one thing we might need to do in regards to the fact that we do need a smart rid in san francisco that is really a well-design grid, and the pg&e meters are not necessarily the best for that, and that is one issue we have to work on, but part of that could involve a more sophisticated build out of fiber optics to the city. we are hitting a point where this year is the year we need to get on that anyway for a lot of other reasons, public access and democratic access to the internet. i just wanted to flag that
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before i talk about it at the end of the meeting and the other items, so, thanks. commissioner campos: thank you. is there any other member of the public would like to speak on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. the one thing i like to say, and i would welcome the comments -- i do think that in moving forward, you do have to strike the right balance in making sure you do it in a timely way, but that we are also thoughtful and strategic about how we do this. for the benefit of my colleagues on the commission, one thing that i do plan to do and we will be doing shortly is to set up a meeting with the mayor to talk about community choice aggregation. i do think that it is important for us to make sure that he has all the information about the program that we are proposing, and no program is perfect, but i do have concerns about some of the comments that have been made.
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my hope and expectation is that once the information is laid out and once we outline not only the specifics of the program, but also the process by which we got here, that's the mayor will see that there is a great deal of wisdom to what we are proposing. it is not just lafco, but it is also the public utilities commission, which is appointed by the mayor, and it is also with the support of the general manager of the san francisco public utilities commission and the staff of the puc, so it is something we have worked collectively on. my hope is that once we have an opportunity to meet with the mayor, that he will see the wisdom and the fact that community choice aggregation is not only the right thing, a position which prior boards and mayors of san francisco have taken, but it is fiscally the
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responsible thing to do. we need to make sure that we give ratepayers' not only options in terms of clean energy, but we also need to give them options in terms of pg&e. i do not think it is in the interests of ratepayers of the bay area for pg&e to be the only game in town. anyone who has followed the practices that pg&e has a engaged in i think has reason to be concerned. this is about giving consumers and ratepayers the choice. that is one of the integral pieces and components of community choice aggregation. that is why the board and mayors in the past have been supportive of it, and i hope that's support continues out of room to hundred. i just want to make that note, and i will keep you informed of those conversations. colleagues, any other comments or questions? this is an information item, so madam clerk, if you could please call item 6.
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>> would you like to continue that matter -- commissioner campos: yes, if we could continue that item to the call of the chair. we continue that item to the call of the chair without objection. >> item 6, study on the voting process, including rent joyce voting joycerank choice -- including rank choice voting for local offices in the city and county. commissioner campos: this is an item requested we put on the agenda as an information item that may perhaps turned into an action item. lafco conducts studies on a number of issues relevant to a specific jurisdiction. it is something we actually did last year with respect to the issue of the garbage collection, and we did a study and a survey that i thought was very helpful
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in terms of how other jurisdictions in the area not only pick up, collect, but transport and disposal of garbage. i thought that was a very helpful thing. one of the things we have seen in san francisco in the last few weeks is a discussion and different proposals around right choice of voting -- rank choice of voting. one of the things that i have found is true is there are many assumptions that are made, but not necessarily a lot of information in terms of how it has actually worked. i believe that a very strong case can be made and has been made as to why rank choice of voting is a good thing for san francisco, but i do think that we need to be mindful that we could actually play a role in doing an objective study of what
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has actually happened with rank choice boating. i raise that as a possibility. i do not know where members of the commission are in terms of lafco providing that kind of role in gathering that kind of information -- with rank choice of voting. it would allow the city to have objective information about how voting has actually happened in san francisco. that is why i wanted to bring it forward as a discussion item and a possible action item. i do not know if there are any comments. commissioner avalos. commissioner avalos: just a question to the chair -- currently, do we have any official documents summarizing rank choice voting and how
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successful it has been in terms of informing voters of how the vote, looking at voter turnout records with the past elections -- do we have anything official from the city? do we have such a document? if such an analysis does not currently exist in an official capacity. commissioner campos: i have directed with the understanding that we would have a much larger discussion here -- directed staff to just, you know, in a very limited way, gather some of the information that is available. there is some information, but i do not know that we have everything that we should have, and the reason why it is -- the reason why this is on the agenda is to see if there is an interest on the part of the commission to direct lafco staff to actually gather that information, to really put together all the information that the city and county has
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available, with the idea that once that information is gathered, maybe we could conduct a study or analysis of what it shows. commissioner avalos: i think it is a worthwhile activity. i also think, given that rank choice voting seems to be the cutting edge or not commonly practiced all across the country, we can look at other places where it is and what the temperature is like in terms of the public acceptance, which is an issue here in san francisco or may or may not be an issue, but i think it is something that may be worth exploring. the kinds of trends we are seeing elsewhere as well, just as a comparison of san francisco, and maybe there are possible growing pains that places that an act rank choice voting have in their natural maturation process, and i think it is worthwhile to compare
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side-by-side what is happening in san francisco just as a point of comparison and contrast. commissioner campos: thank you, commissioner. commissioner pimentel. commissioner pimentel: i think it is a good idea to see if rank choice voting has confused citizens who might not understand. has it decrease turnout or increased. i think it is an opportunity to see how it has affected residents of san francisco. commissioner campos: great. i welcome those comments. that is one of the reasons i wanted to have this item because i do think that these are the kinds of things that we can do, and i think that one approach might be to simply give direction to staff to continue gathering what is available and may be to compile some of that information. depending on where that is, at some point, we also have the
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ability in our funding, if we need to hire any experts to shed light on some of the data to do that. staff could definitely come back to us with a more specific proposal on what that would look like. commissioner avalos: i would recommend that we move forward on that. again, i just want to reiterate -- i think it is worthwhile looking at how many places around the country do have rank choice voting. it would be useful to have as a comparison. i think that is part of what the attack on rank choice voting has been in san francisco -- that it is not a very common thing, but we have had it almost 10 years, and i had never really heard those comments until last year. the stakes seemed to be a lot higher for a lot of people last year, too, so if there is a way to normalize with the process is, by looking at what is done elsewhere and how common it is
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elsewhere, i think that would help give us some perspective. commissioner campos: thank you. before we go to staff, i wanted to -- i do not know of staff has any comments or anything to add. >> more than happy to study whatever parts or aspects of elections are going on. i think this is something initially we could definitely do internally with staff, but one of the things -- i did do some preliminary looking, but the one thing that i think would be needed is the department of elections over the last few years has -- at least with what they have available on their website -- has changed how they report numbers, so it might be useful to see if they have the old files and we could do a comparison. in some cases, they have under voting and over voting mixed together, and in some cases, they have them separated.
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if there's a way to determine with previous elections, if they still have the numbers behind them, to put an together. commissioner campos: to the extent that there is very specialized expertise that may be needed, i would trust that you would come back to us and let us know if you have hit a point where that is the case and where we need to authorize, you know, the hiring of anyone else, of an expert. ms. miller, anything to add? >> no, i think we have directions from you. i would add that part of the direction is also what commissioner avalos was saying with the issue of consumer acceptance or potentially consumer education, whether or not that is necessary. we will add that to the list of things to look at. commissioner campos: i think that is a very important piece. the consumer education peace -- i mean, the voter education
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peace that is related to the question commissioner pimentel raised i think is an important one. we have heard some argument that this is, you know, keeping some voters from participating. the whole point of rank choice voting is to increase voter participation. in some of the service, the polling that was done actually shows that there has been a pretty good understanding across the board, but i think that being able to have specific data or information on that issue would be very helpful. >> right, and we will look to see whether there are studies out there and let you know. commissioner campos: before we act on this, why don't we open it up to public comment? if any member of the public would like to speak on this, please come forward. >> good afternoon again, commissioners. eric brooks. i deeply apologize for being a serial public comment, but this issue is due to the heart of me,
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as a green and a lover of good democracy. i would wholeheartedly support the direction you are going. i would also add we should study other countries like australia. they have had rank choice. canada has had a little bit of it in british columbia. it is not limited to the united states. just to bring this down to why this is so important to lafco, we are in a situation where we may be at some point in the future appointee a municipal -- setting up a municipal utility district that has an elected board. it is conceivable that our cca will form relationships with other cities -- san bruno, east bay, even marin county in the future -- and we would need a joint powers board that, hopefully, would be elected. things like that and the broadband issue that i raised -- we could end up setting up a
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democratically elected communication's board. this really is a big deal for lafco, especially to the extent that any elected boards like those would have oversight over issues that have to do with ratepayers, which is primary when you have an elected body. i think this is a perfectly natural direction for lafco to go and wholeheartedly support it. thanks. commissioner campos: any other member of the public who would like to speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. colleagues, this is an information and possible action item. could we have a motion directing staff to pursue this item. commissioner avalos: i would like to make the motion that staff pursue some analysis of rank choice voting, here, locally in san francisco. what are the trends? what do we have in terms of services for public education? a measure of how successful that
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has been. if possible, looking at trends elsewhere around the country and -- i do not know if we want to look elsewhere globally, but i think the country is useful. also, something else to add, perhaps, if there is controversy around financing of rank choice voting in other places, we could elucidate what that might look like as well. it might be different in other places. i think it is with developing a broader perspective of it as well. how does that sound? commissioner campos: great. commissioner pimentel: i would like to second the motion. commissioner campos: we have a second. i assume there is clarity in terms of what we are asking. if we could take that motion without objection. again, thank you, colleagues, for your support. i think it is good to move in
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that direction. >> item 7, goals and objectives for 2012. commissioner campos: this is an item to provide the commission an opportunity to talk about our objectives for this calendar year. one thing i would say is that we will have a new commissioner coming on board pretty shortly. i think by our next meeting. i do not know if this is an item where people want to engage in the discussion now or if it would be better to wait until we have a full complement to the commission. one of the things that i want to say is in terms of the objectives of lafco from my perspective, the main, i think, objective, at least has to be right now to make sure that we have an effective and successful community choice aggregation program and that not only includes, you know, the contract that is before the board, but that is also on parallel tracks
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a robust buildup, and i think that has to be the priority of lafco. that said, i also think it is important for us as a commission to think of different ways in which we can be a part of a discussion or review of issues of importance to the city. the issue of voting and rank choice voting as an example, but i think there are other areas where lafco can also weigh in. as a share, and would welcome any suggestions or proposals that members of the commission have in terms of things that were -- that we are not working on, that we are not looking at that maybe we should be working on and looking at. i think that is important for us to think outside the box of what we have been doing in the last few years. commissioner avalos, anything to add? commissioner avalos: i am
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thinking we could initiate the conversation now. perhaps we could open up again when we have a larger number of people. commissioner campos: commissioner pimentel, thoughts or comments at this point? no? why don't we open up to public comment? any member of the public that would like to speak on item 7. >> eric brooks again. this is the opportunity i will take to talk about what i mentioned before, and that is public broadband. i am sure that some or all of you followed what happened recently in washington, d.c., are around the "online privacy act" which would have sent to the internet -- censored the internet. it looks like thankfully, that has been beaten back. if you look over the course of the last decade especially and even since 1996, we can see that corporations are making more of an effort every year, and no matter whether there is a
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democrat or republican in office, to get more and more exclusive control of the internet and keeping the public walled off so that it can charge high fees and decide what content we see on the internet. a few years ago, myself and some other organizers with a coalition called public net, one of whom is bruce wolfe, who i recently spoke to around this, got through to lafco, made sure that hearings happened to stop what was going to be a monopolization of our local wireless service in san francisco, and part of that discussion was -- if we are not going to do this city wide wireless, what are we going to do? during that discussion, it came up that the obvious answer and much better answer is to do city-wide fiber optic broadband. at least start with a citywide luke that people can hook into with wireless and eventually
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build broadband out to every single home. if we do it right and use revenue bonds, it would not take a lot of tax money to do that. i e-mailed some of you, and i could e-mail it again, a study that was done early in the decade about the possibilities and how to rollout fiber optic broadband in san francisco. based on the conversation i had with mr. wolf and based on what a lot of us have been observing with corporations really moving hard in this last year to get control of the internet from various corporate angles, i do not think -- i know i have been kind of quarterly bringing this up, but i think it is time for us to start really hitting this again. i do not think we can wait much longer. i would urge you to agendize this session so we could talk about the possibility of fiber optic broadband as a public system so we no longer have to deal with just getting our
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service from comcast and at&t, which, from personal experience, has been held for me. i am sure some of you have probably had problems with those sort of duopoly carriers as well. there will be a key component with how we build howcca and -- how we build out cca and smart birds. i think it is time for lafco to take this on. -- smart grids. commissioner campos: any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. we will come back to this in a future meeting so that once we have a fuller discussion, we can take action in terms of adopting a set of goals and objectives. commissioner avalos: i had been looking at fiber and -- i think looking at fiber and broadband is worthwhile.
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i just do not know if we can bet that within our year, given our timeline and scope of work, but i think it is a worthy thing to look at. we can continue the conversation when we have a fuller contingent of people here. commissioner campos: i think that makes sense. commissioner pimentel. commissioner pimentel: [inaudible] in with maybe in october, closer to the end of the year? commissioner campos: ms. miller? >> i think what we will do is keep it on the agenda for our next meeting so that our newest commissioner, we can talk a little bit about if there is any additional point of interest or subject matter. then we can talk about timing. we will have a better idea then, i think, about timing, for some of these issues, particularly the voting worked -- voting were--voting work. commissioner campos: as we come
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back to the idea of setting goals and agendas, the staff to think about the timing of when these agendas could be taken up. maybe you have some suggestions for us in terms of how to plan out, you know, the different things that come up, including the issue of fiber, which i think is actually a very good one. commissioner, anything else? if it is ok, can we have a motion to continue this item to the call of the chair? i will make sure that we put it on the next agenda. we have a motion by commissioner avalos, seconded by commissioner pimentel. we will take that without objection. please call item 8. >> item 8, executive officer's report. >> there is no report. we can move on. commissioner campos: public comment on item 8? seeing none, public comment is closed. if you could call item 9. >> item 9, public comment. commissioner campos: public, not at -- not on the agenda but is
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otherwise within the jurisdiction of the local agenda agency commission? public comment is closed. item 10. >> item 10, future agenda items. commissioner campos: be on the items we have identified, any future agenda items you would like to bring up? is there any member of the public who would like to speak on this? seeing none, public comment is closed. last item. >> item 11, adjournment. commissioner campos: meeting adjourned. i want to thank everyone for coming up to the meeting. we look forward to our follow-up meeting cca -- on cca and setting up a joint meeting with the public utilities commission. again, thank you to the members of the public, to puc staff, lafco staff, commissioners. thank you, madam clerk.


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